Florida National Scenic Trail Hiking

East of Ocala, this 67-mile section of the 1,300-mile Florida National Scenic Trail system is a subtropical showcase of hardwood hammocks, cypress swamps, and cabbage-palm thickets that can be hiked in four to five days. Starting at Rodman Dam, go south through sandpine scrub and longleaf wiregrass--habitat for bobcat and red-cockaded woodpeckers--to Lake Delancy, at mile seven. From there head 15 miles into the wetlands of Hopkins Prairie to Juniper Springs, Charles Lake, and some 60 other natural ponds (boardwalks keep you dry through most of the wet stuff). The final segment traverses sandhills and scrub, leading you to Clearwater Lake.

To reach the trailhead from Ocala, take SR 40 east 11 miles to CR 314, drive 18 miles to SR 19, and head north to Rodman Dam (about 70 miles from Orlando). Hikers are welcome to park their cars on the southern end at Clearwater Lake, off CR 42.

Note: both black bears and alligators can be found within the Ocala National Forest.

Florida Trail in Ocala NF (FL/US)

Florida Trail in Ocala NF (FL/US)

Florida Trail in Ocala NF (FL/US)

Florida Trail in Ocala NF (FL/US)

Florida National Scenic Trail Hiking Map



Local Contact(s):  ONF (352) 625-2520; The Official Guide to the Florida Trail from Florida Trail Association (800) 343-1882.

Recommended Book:  "Hiking Florida National Forests" from Johnny Molloy

Best Season:  Any

Average Difficulty:  Easy

Luxury Loding:  Seven Sisters Inn, Ocala (352) 867-1170.

Date Published:  

Date Updated:  8/12/2016

Florida National Scenic Trail Hiking Map


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For hiking the Florida National Scenic Trail in Florida, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.